Sibley Lake water levels and the gate in the glory hole

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According to Mayor Lee Posey, his office has received a high volume of calls from Sibley Lake residents who are concerned about the possibility of flooding from future rain events, such as the one Natchitoches is currently facing with Hurricane Harvey. One question is what can be done to lower the water level on Sibley Lake.

After the flooding in March, 2016, Posey met with entities throughout the Parish and state that deal with disaster preparedness to see if something could be done.

The only way to draw down Sibley Lake is through the use of a glory hole that flows into Young Bayou. Built in the 60s, the 4×4 foot gate located at the bottom of the glory hole hasn’t been used on a regular basis. If the gate was opened and for some unforeseen reason, couldn’t be closed, the results could be disastrous. Could it be fixed in time to save the City’s water supply? Is testing it worth the amount of money it would cost to fix it? Is is worth testing it with such high stakes?

Besides skepticism of the gate mechanics still being operational after all these years, there’s an even bigger problem. Opening the gate wouldn’t solve anything. After crunching numbers, it was estimated that the gate will drain approximately 1 foot of water every four days. While Sibley Lake residents may see this as good news, there’s other citizens to take into account. The water that drains into Young Bayou empties into Old River. This would mean putting more water on people further down from the Sibley Lake area.

“It’s gonna hurt someone either way you go,” said Posey. “I’m not in a position to make that call.”

Residents interested in keeping up with water level, rain and other data for Sibley Lake can now go online to The City started recording data mid-July with an electronic rain gauge and automatic alarms. If the water level drops or rises too far from pool stage (116 feet above mean sea level) alarms will inform the City of drought or flood situations.

To log in, use the USERNAME: Natchitoches and the PASSWORD: Sibley Lake (include a space between the words).

10 thoughts on “Sibley Lake water levels and the gate in the glory hole

  1. Houses built on the lake should not be constructed at an elevation lower than the top of the levee. They would not have a flooding problem if they followed this common sense idea. You would still have boathouses that could flood but no major structures. The water would top the levee before houses flood.

  2. Cam-
    The “money-pit” downtown is mostly funded by cane river waterway. The city isn’t playing a huge part in this other than planning with some funding.
    If Sibley is drained, then the water supply in Natchitoches will be at a low and some will not get the water they need. Don’t think the city doesn’t care or is just worried about downtown. These men and women work damn hard every day and it just seems people want to judge or give them advice, but nobody wants to life a finger to help.

    • And that money is tax money that was supposed to be for the RIVER! Should have gone to the up keep of the river first not down town. If used like should have been they could have fixed the bank at Melrose long before it got as bad as it is. How much did they spend on the pumping station at Hamptons? Still not up and running. But we have a fine place to sit and look at a ditch!

  3. Shame on Joe Sampite, double shame on Wayne McCollum and triple shame on Lee Posey for the lack of concern, care and responsibility for the relief gate on the so called glory hole at Sibley Lake! Haven’t they ever heard of an owner’s manual or maintenance schedule or a checklist that is for morons
    Idiots and incompetent mayors to insure that machines do what they do when needed? What a bunch of boobs! Millions wasted on the river bank while ignoring vital city infrastructure.

  4. The gate should have been maintained in the first place. Not knowing if the gate works or not is unacceptable. I don’t have a house on the lake but I do see were a operational gate and some preventative measures could help with flooding. If we know days in advance that 14 inches of rain is coming (I think that means 3 times that much in lake rise) then drain a portion of that off before it gets here.

  5. that so called ridiculous project downtown is for the people of Natchitoches…and tourism is tax dollars, b&b, restaurants, down town “DEAD” without tourism. we can’t control everything thrown at us, and we can’t blame what happens on the fact that something else did happen!

  6. Yeh, well there are other things that COULD have been done after last years flooding event but the mayor was more concerned about putting the money into that ridiculous money pit going on downtown!! It’s ALL about tourism in this city!!! Shameful!!

    • How do you propose it gets paid for? Should resident’s taxes pay to keep houses built on the lake from flooding? Furthermore, if they pay for the gate to be fixed, other peoples houses will be flooded by draining the lake. The only shameful thing is your attitude Peg!

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